Eloping to Niagara – Budgeting for your Dream Wedding

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Guest Blogger – tips & ideas to budget for your dream wedding

Congratulations on your engagement! The excitement has subsided and now it is time to plan your special day. For many couples, the entire process of planning a wedding can quickly overwhelm them and turn the experience into a stressful one. Many of them are choosing the elopement route and the experience is certainly not what it once was. Persuaded by the much lower costs and attractiveness of having every detail packaged and readily available, couples can now choose some of the most romantic destinations to have their special day surrounded by a few close loved ones. Venues now offer couples the chance to personalize their wedding experience, making it a truly memorable day. One of those destinations is the Niagara, home to stunning attractions such as the Niagara Waterfalls, wineries, and gorgeous honeymoon locations.

A large part of planning your wedding day is budgeting for the costs that come along with it. One of the advantages for couples eloping is the significant reduction in costs. A wedding in Canada can cost approximately $42,400. Couples that choose to elope end up spending just 10-15 percent of that amount for their entire wedding experience. If you are thinking of eloping, it is important that you and your fiance begin budgeting for your big day ASAP. Here are just a few tips to get you started.

Do your research

The first element in budgeting for your big day lies in answering the question: how much will we need? Planning an elopement may be much simpler than choosing to go the traditional route but it still involves some planning including flights, hotels and of course actual ceremony details such as venues. Have a look at various venues available in Niagara and note their costs. Be sure to inquire about the details of those packages. Some venues offer packages covering everything including the bouquets and photographer while others allow for you to include your own. Ceremonies can go from a basic 10-minute ceremony costing $300 to a more extensive 75-minute ceremony costing $3,000.

Another requirement to remember is your marriage license and any fees attached to securing it. By taking a little time to find out the options and costs for these things, you and your fiance can then set a realistic goal for your budgeting. Keep in mind that the date you choose and the season can have a great impact on the cost of your big day.

Embrace the season

Choosing to embrace the seasonal offers for your elopement can save you a lot of money and not to mention, save you a lot of stressful organising. Make use of the season you wedding date occurs in. If you have chosen a summer wedding date, you can have an in-season menu for your reception dinner. Most venues do not offer a reception package but you can easily book a table at one of Niagara’s many world-renowned restaurants for after your ceremony. Since your wedding party will be much smaller than a traditional wedding, finding a table should be no problem. In addition, some restaurants may even be inclined to offer you a special price if you mention it is your wedding reception.

You can also choose to go local. Arrange your ceremony details all around or close to the venue you have chosen. If your venue does not provide a bouquet, you can stop by a local florist and purchase a lovely wedding bouquet suited for the season. A normal bridal bouquet can run you anywhere between $150-$200 alone while using a local florist can cost just $50. They are much less expensive and will save you a lot of running around.

Cash in those rewards

Finally, use those rewards you have racked up over the years. There is no better time to cash in those airline miles to pay for your travel or your credit card rewards to cover your hotel stay. If you do not have one, then it may be a good idea to consider signing up for a credit card offering points and travel rewards in the run-up to your wedding day and using it for your normal monthly expenses to build up those points. These benefits can end up shaving hundreds of dollars off your budget. If you are after further savings, consider planning your day in off-peak seasons. Destinations venues for elopements are becoming quite popular and can command a higher than normal price in certain months. Over 65 percent of weddings tend to occur between the summer months June to September.
Last but not least, keep track of our spending in the lead up to your big day. Utilise the many saving and tracking tools available online to help you and your other half remain motivated. If you prefer, you can set out written allocations in your budget for each element (hotel, travel etc) and tick them off as you go along. Be sure to include a miscellaneous fund in your budget (typically 5 percent) for those unforeseen expenses we all know can pop up!

Written by Chrissy Dawson

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ABOUT US: Elope Niagara’s Little Log Wedding Chapel is the creation of Kim and Kathy, both professional photographers in the Niagara area for 25 years. From a drawing on a paper napkin to its fruition this wedding chapel was designed and built with a lot of love. Based on small wedding customer’s feedback throughout the years, the chapel is 104 sq. ft. of cute, cozy and quaint. It is equipped with air conditioning, heat and has indoor/outdoor privacy located on a log home country waterfront setting just 10 minutes from the busy city of Niagara Falls. With over 25 years’ experience in the Niagara wedding industry Kim and Kathy strive to provide stress-free one stop shopping including intimate wedding and vow renewal ceremonies, wedding photography with props on site, and many add-ons available.

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